Your Google search rankings are the key to generating organic traffic and helping people to find your site. Search engines like Google and Bing use algorithms to determine which sites are the best to present in response to a search.
By going through an SEO checklist and ensuring that your site fits the algorithm the search engine is using so that it will appear when someone uses the keywords that would help them to find you.
Search engine algorithms are weighted in favor of sites that show expertise, authority, and that is trustworthy. Going through an SEO checklist and making sure that you tick these boxes will go a long way to getting that organic traffic to come to you.
Site Structure and Usability
The way your site is structured is important so you should spend some time going through a technical SEO agency checklist. Search engines like sites that have a clear structure, as do users.
The internal links that you have within your site should lead to pages that are substantial and helpful for visitors and you should check frequently for broken links and repair them. Internal links will also help search engines to identify which pages to display for users.
Google My Business
It is always a good idea to connect your site to Google using Google My Business (which has just been renamed to Google Business Profile) to ensure that they have all of the right information about you.
You should also consider creating a sitemap that will give search engines a list of URLs that specify the main content of your site. The sitemap can be read directly by the crawler that will look through your site for info that might be relevant for people searching.
Page Load Times
Load times are important for the algorithms that search engines use. Your load times should ideally be below 2 seconds but at the very least they need to be under 3 seconds. You can check how fast your page loads by using Google Page Speed Insights.
Your site should be mobile-friendly. Over half of the searches that search engines deal with are now on mobile and the algorithm is weighted towards prioritizing mobile sites. You can check how usable your site is for mobiles by using the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.
Security is also prioritized so a site that is secured using HTTPS will be prioritized over one that isn’t.
Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools
Search engines have developed a range of tools that can help people to monitor and improve how their sites are performing. Creating a Google Search Console account (you should connect Google Analytics to it) will help you to track your site’s performance, as will using Bing Webmaster Tools.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console will track your site’s performance. This includes seeing how successful your keywords are performing for generating traffic and page experience scores. With Google Search Console, you can also update your sitemap and fix any website errors such as broken links and crawl errors.
Connecting Google Search Console with your Google Analytics account will give you the best chance of ensuring your site’s success.
Google Analytics helps you to see how visitors find and use your site. It helps you to monitor your search engine traffic, identify which pages are most likely to bring traffic to your site, monitor changes in traffic, see which internal links are most successful, and see which external links from other sites are bringing the most users to you.
With a Google Analytics account, you can also see how many page views you have, how long people spend on each page, and more.
Bing Webmaster Tools
A Bing Webmaster Tools account will give you plenty of powerful tools to help you reach the right users. Its SEO checklist and SEO tools are very useful.
It will show you all of the backlinks that are linking to your site to help improve your link building and it has a crawler that will search your site and go through a technical SEO checklist to look for common errors.
It also has SEO tools that can help you with your keyword research and will give you an SEO report that helps you to spot SEO errors.
Beyond SEO tools and helping with your SEO checklist, Bing Webmaster Tools will also give you site reports and help with ensuring that your site is working as it should. For example, there aren’t any broken links or crawl errors.
Keyword Research and Content
Your use of target keywords is important for helping people to find your site and generating organic traffic. It is always better to use long-tail keywords because these are more descriptive and have a narrower focus, which means that you will have less competition with each Google search.
It is also important to do some keyword research to determine what the best target keywords are for your site. You can use a keyword research tool to help you find these.
Finding the perfect long-tail keywords to use in your page title and meta description that are relevant to your target audience will go a long way to helping them to find you. This will also help you gather topics to cover in your market research.
The content of your site should be relevant to your target keywords and it should be substantial enough that it is likely to satisfy user intent, as this is what Google search engine algorithms are trying to accomplish.
Meta Description and Page Title Tags
Make sure that you use relevant tags for your page title. These are the headlines that will appear on the search engine results page (SERP) and any external links that are posted on other sites. This is also where your meta description will be displayed.
Don’t ignore alt tags in your keyword research. These are tags that are added to pictures on your site and they can be read by search engines and people who need audio descriptions.
Search engines are designed to satisfy user intent. In other words, they want people to find the answer they are looking for when they type in their search.
Using an SEO checklist will help search engines to see that your site can satisfy the intent of people who are looking for you and this will, in turn, allow the search engines to give your site a higher priority.